ANAHEIM (AP) — Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager homered to lead the Seattle Mariners past the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Wednesday night, extending their longest winning streak of the season to eight games.
The surging Mariners moved within 1 1/2 games of Toronto for the second AL wild card, with Detroit the only team in between at a game behind the Blue Jays.
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched into the seventh inning and earned his 16th win for Seattle (78-68), which completed a three-game sweep.
It’s the first time the Mariners have won eight in a row since July 2013. They have the longest active streak in the majors.
Cruz hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh off Jose Alvarez (1-3), his 37th of the season and fourth in four games. It was the slugger’s 10th home run this year against Los Angeles, more than any other Mariners player has hit in one season against a single opponent.
Jay Buhner belted nine off Minnesota in 1995.
Seager hit his 29th off Jhoulys Chacin in the fifth to tie it 1.
Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save.
Iwakuma (16-11) won his second straight, allowing one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He exited after Cliff Pennington bunted for a leadoff single and advanced on Juan Graterol’s sacrifice.
Tom Wilhelmsen retired the next two batters.
Chacin came out of the bullpen to make his first start since Aug. 21, in place of injured Tyler Skaggs. Chacin settled for a no-decision, limiting the Mariners to one run and three hits in six innings while striking out five.
Since losing five straight starts through June and July, Chacin is 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA as a starter.
Graterol scored on a wild pitch by Iwakuma in the third.
Skaggs had an MRI to find the cause of soreness in his left forearm. The test showed no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, which was repaired with Tommy John surgery in 2014. The MRI came back clean but Skaggs was diagnosed with a mild pronator strain and will be shut down for at least seven days. RHP Cory Rasmus (groin strain) was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Rasmus hasn’t pitched in a major league game since June 12 and was on a rehab assignment last week with Class-A Orem. . RHP Matt Shoemaker (skull fracture) was transferred to the 60-day DL.
RHP Daniel Wright opens a four-game series against Toronto on Thursday. Making his fourth major league start, Wright, who was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on Sept. 4, is 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in the big leagues this season.
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